1  |  2  |  3  |  4  |  5  |  6  |  7  |  8  |  9  |  10  |  11  |  12  |  13  |  14  |  15  |  16  |  17  |  18  |  19  |  20  |  21  |  22  |  23  |  24  |  25  |  26  |  27  |  28  |  29  |  30  |  31  |  32  |  33  |  34  |  35  |  36  |  37  |  38  |  39  |  40  |  41  |  42  |  43  |  44  |  45  |  46  |  47  |  48  |  49  |  50  |  51  |  52  |  53  |  54  |  55  |  56  |  57  |  58  |  59  |  60  |  61  |  62  |  63  |  64  |  65  |  66  |  67  |  68  |  69  |  70  |  71  |  72  |  73  |  74  |  75  |  76  |  77  |  78  |  79  |  80  |  81  |  82  |  83  |  84  |  85  |  86  |  87  |  88  |  89  |  90  |  91  |  92  |  93  |  94  |  95  |  96  |  97  |  98  |  99  |  100  |  101  |  102  |  103  |  104  |  105  |  106  |  107  |  108  |  109  |  110  |  111  |  112  |  113  |  114  |  115  |  116  |  117  |  118  |  119  |  120  |  121  |  122  |  123  |  124  |  125  |  126  |  127  |  128  |  129  |  130  |  131  |  132  |  133  |  134  |  135  |  136  |  137  |  138  |  139  |  140  |  141  |  142  |  143  |  144  |  145  |  146  |  147  |  148  |  149  |  150  |  151  |  152  |  153  |  154  |  155  |  156  |  157  |  158  |  159  |  160  |  161  |  162  |  163  |  164  |  165  |  166  |  167  |  168  |  169  |  170  |  171  |  172  |  173  |  174  |  175  |  176  |  177  |  178  |  179  |  180  |  181  |  182  |  183  |  184  |  185  |  186  |  187  |  188  |  189 

David Simon drops in on a comment thread to discuss The Wire

Pandagon :: So cool…. :: January :: 2008

Writing to affirm what people are saying about my faith in individuals to rebel against rigged systems and exert for dignity, while at the same time doubtful that the institutions of a capital-obsessed oligarchy will reform themselves short of outright economic depression (New Deal, the rise of collective bargaining) or systemic moral failure that actually threatens middle-class lives (Vietnam and the resulting, though brief commitment to rethinking our brutal foreign-policy footprints around the world). The Wire is dissent; it argues that our systems are no longer viable for the greater good of the most, that America is no longer operating as a utilitarian and democratic experiment. If you are not comfortable with that notion, you won’t agree with some of the tonalities of the show. I would argue that people comfortable with the economic and political trends in the United States right now — and thinking that the nation and its institutions are equipped to respond meaningfully to the problems depicted with some care and accuracy on The Wire (we reported each season fresh, we did not write solely from memory) — well, perhaps they’re playing with the tuning knobs when the back of the appliance is in flames. Does that mean The Wire is without humanist affection for its characters? Or that it doesn’t admire characters who act in a selfless or benign fashion? Camus rightly argues that to commit to a just cause against overwhelming odds is absurd. He further argues that not to commit is equally absurd. Only one choice, however, offers the slightest chance for dignity. And dignity matters. All that said, I am the product of a C-average GPA and a general studies degree from a state university and thirteen years of careful reporting about one rustbelt city. Hell do I know. Maybe my head is up my ass.

If The Wire is too pessimistic about the future of the American empire — and I’ve read my Toynbee and Chomsky, so I actually think a darker vision could be credibly argued — no one will be more pleased than me as I am, well, American. Right now, though, I’m just proud to see serious people arguing about a television drama; there’s some pride in that. Thanks.

January 08, 2008

John Belushi still safely dead, but has little to do with Steve Martin's catchprase

Update: I'm a tard, dave-o is right, Belushi's catchphrase was...

January 07, 2008

Obama's favorite Tv show? The Wire

Pandagon :: Must. Resist. Being. Charmed. By. Asinine. Question. One. Candidate. Just. Happened. To. Make. Interesting. :: January :: 2008

. . . But for once, a candidate did not make a safe pick—when TV Guide asked the candidates about their favorite TV shows, Clinton picked “Grey’s Anatomy”, Edwards picked “Law & Order”, and Obama picked “The Wire”.

Pardon me while I straighten out my non-existent hat. Clinton is clearly girling it up, and while “Law & Order” is a fine show, it’s as politically cowardly as a show about the police and the courts can get. But “The Wire” is not only unabashedly political, it’s political in an extremely provocative way. Everyone praises its quality, and they should, since it really probably is the best TV show ever, but it’s worth noting that the politically faint of heart cannot stomach that show, since it tackles very controversial topics and doesn’t do it in a light and fluffy, all-resolved-but-the-sad-look-on-the-D.A.’s-face way that “Law & Order” does. The War On Drugs, which is politically unassailable by any major candidate left or right, is rightly portrayed throughout the series as a noble failure at best, and usually more as a racist institution where the destruction in poverty-stricken black communities is a feature, not a bug. . . .

January 03, 2008

Three Watchmen scripts leaked and critiqued

Watchmen: io9 Analyzes Three Leaked Scripts for Watchmen All three...

January 01, 2008

Tim Goodman's Best TV of 2007

TV's best of 2007

I generally like what Goodman has to say. I don't always agree with him (The Tudors is ass) but he's always thoughtful. Here are his lists of best dramas and best comedies, and a best of the rest.

The 13 Best Dramas (in order)

1. "Dexter," Showtime. Deliciously warped and beautifully gruesome, "Dexter" had one of the most compelling story lines and, in Michael C. Hall, one of television's best actors. That combination elevated the sophomore series to new levels of greatness.

2. "Mad Men," AMC. Matthew Weiner's superb character study unfolded at its own pace, which allowed viewers to marvel at the acting, writing, incomparable visual style and original premise. This look at Madison Avenue advertising in 1960 was a period piece so rich in slow detail that a second viewing is almost mandatory.

3. "The Sopranos," HBO. There were misses in this extended season for sure, but "The Sopranos" will go down as one of the finest examples of art and entertainment we've ever seen. David Chase gets credit for staying true to his storytelling traits and not pandering to the masses as he closed out a landmark series.

4. "Rome," HBO. Admit it: You forgot about the swords-sandals-and-sex epic that had its long-delayed second (and final) season in January. Ambitious, glorious and fun, it ended way too soon.